Disclaimer: I do not own JONAS.
A/N: I had a poll on my profile page asking what story people would like me to write, and an Ellie/Frankie follow-up to The Dance won. So here it is in all its extreme fluffiness. And this should officially put Ellie to rest. Thanks for embracing her. Oh, and it didn't occur to me until I was trying to write this how their names went together (well, if you used my favorite name that Ellie could be an abbreviation for).
Dedicated: To phoebenpiper because she sent me a very nice review of a story right as I was going to post this. And cause she used 'Tippecanoe and Tyler too' in a story, which is awesome. Go William Henry Harrison!
Frankie stood at the top of the stairs at Horace Mantis Academy watching his best friend eat her lunch. It had been months since they had made up (or more accurately, she had forgiven him for being an idiot), and on the outside, it looked like everything had gone back to normal.
Except it hadn't.
Somewhere between the slow dance and now, he had gone and done something totally stupid. He had fallen for his best friend. At first he hadn't even realized what was happening – he figured he was just really happy to have her back. But he started to get this weird feeling in his stomach when she touched him and he almost hit a perfectly nice guy who gave her a flower on Valentine's Day – and he knew it was something else.
He had tried to just ignore it, but he realized that he had to do something because prom was coming. And if he didn't at least get up the nerve to ask her, he was going to have to watch her spend the night dancing with someone else. And the chances of it being his brothers again seemed pretty slim, so today he was going to walk up and ask her to prom.
"Hey, Ellie," he said, approaching the table where they usually had lunch. "Are you excited to see the dress Stella made you?"
True to her word, Stella had designed an original dress for Ellie, and she was coming today for the first fitting.
"Are you kidding?" Ellie almost gushed. "I mean, I'm not normally that into clothes, but what girl wouldn't be excited to have a Stella Lucas original? I've even been saving up my money for matching shoes."
Frankie wasn't sure what to say to that, so he took a deep breath and said, "Speaking of the dance, how about we go together?"
She froze and gave him a strange look before reaching out and patting his hand. "That's sweet of you, Frankie, but you don't have to take me." Before he could tell her that he really wanted to go with her, she continued, "Just once, I'd like to go to a dance with a real date instead of someone trying to be nice." She grinned at him and said, "I think there's a guy in my English class who might ask me."
"That's great," he choked out. At that moment, the bell rang, and she rushed off to class leaving him stunned, unsure of what had just happened.
After school Frankie drove Ellie back to his house so she could meet up with Stella to work on the dress. As soon as the girls were safely upstairs, he turned to his three older brothers and announced dramatically, "I asked Ellie to prom, and she said no!"
Kevin, who had just taken a sip of water, spit the entire mouthful out in Joe's face. "What!" The oldest Lucas almost shouted, completely ignoring the dirty look Joe was giving him.
"I asked Ellie to the prom and she said no," Frankie repeated. "Actually, she told me that it was sweet of me to ask but she wanted to go with a real date, which was worse than having her say no. It took me weeks to get up the nerve to ask, and she totally blew me off."
"Ouch," Joe said, shaking his head to get the water out of his eyes. "That had to hurt."
"Wait?" Nick said, handing a towel to Joe who was still dripping water from his nose and hair. "Did I miss something? When have you ever been nervous around Ellie? I mean, besides that time at the dance?"
"Oh, I don't know," Frankie retorted sarcastically, "maybe since I decided to ask her on a real date."
Apparently his brothers found his situation amusing because all three of them were smirking at him. Suddenly all of the times he had teased his brothers about girls were coming back to haunt him.
"How exactly did you ask her?" Nick questioned him.
"I think I just said how about we go to the dance."
"That's it?" Kevin asked incredulously. "You totally deserved to get shot down. Didn't you ever watch High School Musical 3?"
"No!" Frankie said sounding frustrated. "I was seven when that came out. And how does that even apply?"
"Cause it teaches you that you have to make an effort when you ask a girl to prom," Kevin replied. "Like, Joe. He filled Stella's locker with roses and serenaded her in the hallway."
"And Kevin bought Macy a huge teddy bear with a t-shirt that that said, 'I hope beary much that you'll go to prom with me'," Joe pointed out.
Frankie wasn't sure how he had missed the bear, but he must have because there was no way he would have forgotten something that… Kevin. Sighing, he said, "This sort of information would have been very helpful yesterday before I screwed everything up."
Nick patted Frankie on the shoulder, "We can't help you if you don't talk to us, little brother."
"Fair enough," Frankie said dejectedly.
"So you wanted to take her on a real date, huh?" Kevin asked gently.
"Yeah," he said. "I wanted to take her on a real date."
He closed his eyes and hoped that when he turned around, he wouldn't see Ellie standing at the bottom of the stairs. Maybe that wasn't really her voice behind him sounding cute and confused at the same time. He opened his eyes and without even turning around, he knew it was her. The sympathy in his brothers' eyes said it all. Taking a deep breath, he turned and asked, "How much did you hear?"
Maybe if he was lucky she had only heard that last bit; he could find a way out of that. He could pretend they were talking about someone else.
Ellie looked at him apologetically, "Pretty much all of it. You have three big holes in the ceiling so sound really carries."
As they stood staring at each other, Frankie tried to come up with something to say. He usually knew what Ellie was thinking, but he had no idea if she liked the idea of him wanting to take her on a date or if she was horrified by it.
"Uhm… maybe we should leave them alone," Nick finally said. Frankie was vaguely aware that no one moved.
"Good idea, Nick," Stella agreed from somewhere behind Ellie.
Frankie saw her gesture towards Kevin and Joe, who reluctantly headed up the stairs. As Nick passed Frankie, he put a hand on his younger brother's shoulder and whispered, "Just be honest with her."
Frankie nodded almost reflexively. He wasn't even sure what being honest with her meant – he was still trying to work out exactly what he was feeling.
"You wanted to take me to prom for real?" Ellie asked quietly as soon as the room was cleared.
Frankie nodded, wondering why she seemed so stunned at the idea.
"But I thought you didn't want to be like Stella and Joe?"
"What?" Frankie asked in confusion. "What are you talking about?"
"When we were eight, we agreed we'd never be like them," she explained. "That we wouldn't be the best friends who fall for each other and risk ruining the friendship."
Frankie blinked in shock. It had never occurred to him that she had read their agreement that way. "I always thought being like Stella and Joe meant acting idiotic," he said. "Liking each other and not being willing to date because it might mess up the friendship but freaking out when the other one had a date."
"Oh," she said simply.
He stood watching her process the information, trying to read her expression, but he had no idea what she was thinking. Finally he asked, "So, would you like to go to prom with me?"
"I don't know," she answered, sounding like she was about to cry. "I have no idea what to think or feel right now. I'm discombobulated."
He chuckled, "See, that's why you're so awesome. I don't know any other girl who would use discombobulated in this situation." She rolled her eyes a little but gave him a hint of a smile. She looked so lost that without thinking he opened his arms a little and asked, "Do you need a hug?"
Nodding, she leaned into him and wrapped her arms around his waist, resting her head on his chest. The last time they had been like this was at the dance, and he held her close, relishing the feeling of having her next to him. She had never been very physically affectionate with him; he had always wondered why she would cuddle on the couch with Kevin or Nick but not him, and now he had his answer. She had been putting up boundaries all along.
"If we date, things will change," Ellie pointed out, her head still resting against his chest.
"I know," he replied. He wondered if she could hear his heart rate speed up at the fact that she was even considering it.
"I'm pretty sure my mom wouldn't let me sleep over anymore," she said, obviously trying to lighten the mood a little. "And she'd probably expect you to go to family things."
"I already go to most of your family parties," he pointed out.
"Okay, if we're dating, she'd expect you to come to family things and talk to people."
He winced a little. He usually hid in the corner, occasionally smiling and nodding at her relatives. He was an outgoing person, but her family was weird. Sighing, he said, "I can do that."
He heard her giggle a little before she went silent again. They stood there just holding each other for a few minutes before she muttered, "I actually have way more appreciation for Stella and Joe than I did before. It sort of feels like standing on the edge of a cliff, doesn't it?"
Reluctantly pulling away, he looked her in the eyes and said earnestly, "You don't have to do it. We can still be friends and pretend like this never happened."
The idea of being so close to having her only to have it yanked away made him feel sick, but it was Ellie. She was his best friend no matter what, and he'd just have to figure it out. Hopefully with less drama than Joe.
She looked him in the eye and asked, "Are you absolutely sure you want to date me? This isn't some spur-of-the moment thing you're going to regret tomorrow, right?"
He was a teenage boy, which meant he was no good at talking about his emotions. He didn't know how to explain to her how just being near her made his stomach all fluttery or how jealous he felt when she smiled at another guy, even his brothers. He still hadn't figured out himself when the change had occurred – it had been gradually building for months, but he knew that he honestly liked her and wanted to be with her.
"I'm positive," he said emphatically, adding, "I've liked you for awhile now." Trying to think of something that would assure her he wasn't acting on impulse, he said, "Remember when you told me I was acting weird on Valentine's Day when the guy from your History class brought you a rose?"
She smiled, "My mom said you were acting like a jealous boyfriend, but I told her that was ridiculous cause you didn't even realize I was a girl most of the time."
Raising an eyebrow at her, he replied, "Trust me; I've always known you were a girl. Recently I've just appreciated the fact a lot more."
She blushed and bit her lip. He thought the blush might be a good sign, but he wasn't sure. "You do know you're really pretty, right?"
She rolled her eyes at him. "Nice try Lucas."
"I'm serious, El. I think you're beautiful."
She blushed again. "Thank you," she whispered.
Standing there with pink cheeks and shining eyes, she looked absolutely amazing, and it took all of his self-control not to kiss her. But that would be a bad idea; he still had no idea how she felt about him. "Did you ever think about it? About being with me?" He asked hesitantly.
"Of course," she replied almost automatically. "But I just shrugged it off because I knew it would never happen." She looked at him shyly before admitting, "I never found anyone I liked nearly as much as you."
He felt like his heart was going to explode. Reaching out and taking her hand, he did something he had never done before; he used her real name, "Please go to prom with me, Eleanor."
They both knew he was asking her for much more than a date to a school dance. Whatever she answered would change everything. He stood tensed waiting for her to reply.
"Okay," she breathed out after a moment. "I would love to go to prom with you Franklin."
He grinned at her, feeling weak with relief. Before he could say anything, he heard a voice call down, "You should kiss her now!" The announcement was quickly followed by a loud, "Ouch! Stella that hurt!"
Ellie giggled as Frankie rolled his eyes at his older brother's whining.
"Even Joe can have a good idea once in awhile," Ellie observed.
Frankie swallowed nervously and pulled her closer to him. "Are you sure?" He asked. "We obviously have an audience and we don't have to-"
Before he could finish his sentence, she had wrapped one hand around his neck and pulled him down into a gentle kiss.
And all thoughts of his brothers were gone.